Tosche Station Radio #122: Dark Disciple with Christie Golden

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This week on Tosche Station Radio, we’re joined by author Christie Golden to discuss Dark Disciple, Star Wars, and even a bit of Warcraft!

The discussion will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t finished Dark Disciple, proceed at your own risk!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

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Review: Dark Disciple

Dark Disciple CoverThe enemy of my enemy is my assassination BFF …or at least that’s the logic of the Jedi Council when it comes to teaming Master Quinlan Vos with Asajj Ventress to try and take the nefarious Count Dooku out of the picture and hopefully end the war. (No one ever said the Jedi Council was brilliant, okay?) What could possibly go wrong with this plan? And it’ll worth it if it brings the Clone Wars to an end, right? Out today, Dark Disciple by Christie Golden asks these questions as an unlikely partnership forms to take on an impossible task.

While there were things I did and did not like about the book, it was an overall enjoyable reading experience. While readers go in knowing the outcome (the mission fails, it has to fail,) Golden does a good job of building up anticipation and making you think that just maybe Vos and Ventress will succeed and Dooku will die. This is a book that’s more about the journey than the actual end result. The story is based upon unproduced episodes of The Clone Wars but Golden takes the basis of the arc and really makes it her own so well that it’s impossible to tell what was originally in those eight scripts and what wasn’t.   (Dark Disciple may, however, may not be the most accessible book those who didn’t watch the show.)

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Go/No-Go: Dark Disciple

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Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Dark Disciple.  It’s our first book outside of the Episode III-V timeframe in the new canon and uses unproduced episodes from The Clone Wars show.  It’s Ventress and Vos versus Dooku.  But is the book worth your hard earned money?   To mission control for the verdict!

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Dark Disciple Gets a Cover And a Release Date

Dark Disciple CoverDel Rey revealed the cover for Dark Disciple today, the forthcoming novel by Christie Golden.  The novel is based on an unused storyline from The Clone Wars and stars Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos.  The cover is the work of artist Matt Taylor.

Del Rey also announced the book’s official release date: July 7th, 2015.  (Keep in mind though that this could be subject to change.)

You can read their full press release here.

Tosche Station on Location: EU Authors are Legendary

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Authors Mike Stackpole, Dave Wolverton, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Christie Golden, and Timothy Zahn discuss their thoughts on the Expanded Universe moving to Legends status and field questions from the audience about their contributions to the Star Wars universe.

SDCC 2014: Rebels and Books

Two days down of San Diego Comic-Con and we’re already rolling in Star Wars news.  Well sort of.

Last night was the Rebels panel that featured the main cast along with Dave Filoni.  You can read StarWars.com’s liveblog of the event here.  While we didn’t get the official release date for Rebels (groan!), we did learn a few things.  The cast agrees that Vanessa Marshall is the biggest Star Wars fan out of all of them although apparently Freddie Prinze Jr. makes all the Force motions while recording.  The show will definitely be embracing the idea of this crew as a family and bringing in some comedy; both concepts they’re taking from the Original Trilogy.  Another point of note from the panel is that Filoni made mention of establishing a hierarchy of villains so if Darth Vader shows up, people should definitely be running.  Also, Rebels will be much more of a contained story than the Clone Wars as they won’t be jumping from character to character and creating new locations each week.

In addition to showing several clips from the show, they also debuted a second brand new trailer which you can watch below.

The Star Wars Books panel just wrapped up and needless to say, the highlight was the new book announcement.  Christie Golden will be penning a novel about Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos.  The book is due out in Summer 2015 and is taken from a plot line for the intended Season 7 of The Clone Wars.

asajj vos

As for the rest of the panel, it was moderated by Vanessa Marshall and there was a lot of discussion about John Jackson Miller’s forthcoming A New Dawn.  Vanessa has apparently read the book already and said it gave her a lot of insight into Hera.  Tarkin will be, as expected, akin to James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis and will take place very close to Revenge of the Sith.  Heir to the Jedi was described as a character study of Luke Skywalker and Lords of the Sith was dubbed “kind of a Vader/Palpatine road trip novel” by Jen Heddle.  You can read the rest of the live blog of the panel by the main site here.  I’d particularly suggest that readers take note of their comments about the newly minted Legends books.

If you’re looking for comic news though… well that’ll be dropping tomorrow during Marvel’s Cup of Joe Panel.  You’ve been warned.

Golden: Sword of the Jedi is on hold

This isn’t exactly news, but it was a slightly more official confirmation of something we’ve known for a while. For a bit of clarity, this isn’t confirmation that the continuity is changing (though let’s be honest, it’s quite likely that will happen). If I were to wager a guess, Sword of the Jedi won’t be released unless LFL decides to go with a split canon that allows the legacy Expanded Universe to go it’s own direction.

EU Retrospective: Fate of the Jedi Part 2

Well.  It’s done.  I’ve finished reading these books and I’m ridiculously relieved to be through with Fate of the Jedi.  To be completely honest, even though there are a lot of things in Legacy of the Force that upset me, I’d rather read a series like that than this one.  I hated the character derailment that some of them were subjected to but I prefer that series as a whole to reading about anything with Abeloth ever again.  No more tentacles please.  There were a lot more high points in that series than this one.  To top it off, I just never felt as invested in these books.  There was both too much and too little going on.  I know that sounds impossible but I don’t know how else to describe it.   Basically, the majority of the series made me do this:

At least there was Mercy Kill waiting for me at the end.  Observe my Wraith Squadron related tears of joy.

Warning: There are some NSFW words on some of these gifs

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My sentiment about having to read this book again can be summed up in one word: Ugh.

This book is bad.  It’s not Jedi bug sex bad because I didn’t cringe and resort to drinking but it is bad.  I literally just finished it and tossed it down and said “Stupid.  So stupid.”  Was half the galaxy replaced by Skrulls?  Honestly, I’m running out of reasons for why so many people acted the way they did.  Everyone makes bad decisions that in turn make me want to bash my head against a wall.  I can’t even rage like I usually do.  It’s just all so gosh darn frustrating.  We’ll go down the list.

First and foremost is everything involving Kenth Hamner.  I have yet to understand why “The Villainization of Kenth Hamner” had to occur and I think it’s ridiculous.  While I don’t think that he (or anyone in the order really) is looking at the situation from an entirely rational point of view, I also don’t think that anything that happened with his storyline was logical.  I especially disagree with how he dies.

That brings me to point two which is Saba.  I liked Saba when she was originally introduced.  I really did.  I feel like I’m not dealing with entirely the same character anymore.  It’s nice that she doesn’t take any pleasure in killing Kenth but it doesn’t change that she did and the last time I checked?  You don’t reward someone for that by making her the new Grand Master.  Seriously, Cilghal and Corran?  Seriously?  Kyp Durron or Kyle Katarn would’ve been better choices.  I’ll agree about wanting someone who’s more of a warrior in charge but I certainly don’t think that staging a kriffing COUP is going to help things.  There’s general distrust of the Jedi Order because they’re too powerful and act only as they see fit.  Clearly the best way to counter this is to remove the Chief of State from office.  EXCEPT NO.  NO IT IS NOT.

On the other side of the galaxy, we’ve got Skrull!Luke Skywalker.  Everything about this Luke feels wrong.  I don’t know what else to say except that this isn’t the Luke Skywalker we know from the films and previous books.  I’d also really like to know when his storyline went from ‘Retrace Jacen Solo’s Force Odyssey’ to ‘Retrace Luke Skywalker’s Love Life’.  Oh and hey!  We can throw in some Sith while we’re at it.  😐

Fourth, I still don’t get Abeloth.  If I could never read again about her tentacles and giant mouth that eats people or whatever, I’d be happy.  She is ridiculous.  Everything about this storyline is ridiculous and I want it to end.  I’m so done with all of this.

This next one doesn’t anger me as much as it annoys me.  I honestly don’t get the point of including this slave uprising storyline.  I know it gets used more later and does tie into the overarching story but it feels overall like wasted page space to me.  Sorry.

Finally, who thought this Barabel nest thing was a good idea especially when it comes to ending a book?  No, don’t answer that.  It was rhetorical.  On a scale from 1-10, this ranks an 8 on the Unnecessary Scale.

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EU Retrospective: Fate of the Jedi Part 1

Well.  Here we are.  Reading Fate of the Jedi again.  I had actually just gotten around to reading the series in its entirety the month before I started this project and I can’t really say that I was looking forward to reading it again so soon especially given how long I delayed reading it in the first place.  This series was first published in March 2009.  By then, I was a poor college student and the prospect of reading and buying series published entirely in hardcover was not very appealing to me especially after Invincible.  At some point, I picked up the first book because it was Allston, liked it well enough, but wasn’t overly inclined to run out and read all the others.  In the summer of 2011, I finally convinced myself to read the first four books… and then got side tracked by a New Jedi Order reread and didn’t return to them until fall 2012.  Basically, this is a very long winded way for me to say that this series never really managed to grab my attention and draw me in like some of the others.  Unfortunately.

I blame Abeloth.

Outcast
Well, they Allston-ed me again.  It’s nice to see that the previous galactic war had consequences and that they are carrying over here.  However, I still cannot figure out why the heck anyone would put Daala in charge.  It makes zero sense to me.

The good news is that this book has a lot of my favorite Allston moves.  We get a pilot reunion over on Kessel and thankfully, Wedge seems to still be retired.  We also get the Darkmeld group which I positively LOVE and not just because Winter finally get to reappear.  It’s a rather excellent mix of people.  I also loved that we get Jag referencing his relationship to Wedge because that’s brought into play far too infrequently.  The relationship between Jaina and Jag is also very well written and it’s nice to see them together and functional again.  Also, every time Jag corrects someone about it being the ‘Galactic Empire’ instead of ‘Imperial Remnant’, I crack up.

In typical Allston fashion, the Horn siblings (and family) finally get to take center stage only for their lives to end up seriously sucking.  Valin Horn, stop being crazy.

The other high point of this book has to be the father/son relationship between Ben and Luke.  I love getting to see Ben’s ridiculous sense of humor (Grand Master Whango Mittpool!) and how well they work together.  The whole plot line of retracing Jacen’s steps and trying to figure out what happened is actually rather intriguing although I think his problem was named Lumiya.  Regardless, it will be neat to see these other Force using orders.  But really, it’s just great watching these two play off one another especially with their different strengths and weaknesses.

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